Akhatib peace initiative

Last week Mr. Moaz, the head of the NC, announced his peace initiative from his FB page. Basically it sets two terms for him to sit down and talk with regime (or with representatives of regime whom did not have blood on their hand), these terms are the release of 160,000 prisoners from jail and passport renewal for opposition members living outside of Syria. As expected the initiative created waves of protest (from the classical traitor) or approval, coming from all parties involved starting from follow NC members to regime state supporters and foes depending on their position and interest and finally from Syrians themselves. 

I listen to many discussions and read for others thoughts and analysis, and one common thing I found is that no one understand the initiative, and no one has any idea what is it suppose to accomplish or even what is it about. Maybe some insiders knows the discussion behind closed doors, or maybe there is no discussions behind close doors and what we see is IT basically, nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps many are trying to read too much into it, trying to read between the lines when there is nothing between the lines, no hidden meanings. 

In my mind the possibly aim for the initiative could be one and more from the following;

  • giving counter initiative to the one regime gave, trying to throw the ball back to regime court and showing some engagement with the regime to satisfy the backers of the opposition.
  • Trying to entice countries supporting opposition for more action or more arms, by hinting that NC might cut a deal with regime and these countries will have to learn to live with Assad in power for years to come (if they can afford that).
  • trying to make a split or support some split inside the regime itself, although not much evidence of the existence of this split (by asking for AlSharea in name to represent the regime)
  • Giving a support to any pressure on the regime from its main international allies (like Russia or China). Then later giving them reason to use for backing out from position
  • or just desperate attempts to save lives
  • and if the regime had to sit down on the table for any reason, while no one expecting much from that but at least we could get some people out of jail and renew some passports for Syrians living out of the country.

What is apparent is that the initiative took a personal nature from Mr. Alkhatib not in the name of the NC (although it is muddied a bet, so no clarity). On the surface most or all fellow members in the NC especially the MB opposed the imitative, (but this is maybe a planned approach to show that Mr. Alkhatib is facing lots of resistance and can’t give more), and most of the positive support came from each and every Syrian citizen i know and heard to.

In conclusion I think most surprising response was from Syrians who appear to have had enough and looking for any settlement, although rebels cannot take same position since they will be all killed by regime if settlements was to keep the regime in any way (or at least that is what they believe). Other very important result is that NC gained back some relevance after SNC lost it all in the past year, and most of that credit goes to Mr. Alkhatib personally.

Now that it seems the adventure is over, and initiative ended in the way everyone thought it will. It looks like a good move by head of NC and in the net result it was positivist for opposition in general and him personally (so i think we will still see more of him now that he became a permanent player no longer on the sides).

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voting for new constitution

It is never about the articles of the constitution old or new, it is about respecting the constitution. The current constitution was issued in 1973 in the early days of Hafez Al-Assad rule (the Father), he designed it by himself to himself. But the emergency laws were never lifted since the 60s, and therefore conveniently many of its articles were never effected especially the ones talking about civil rights and guaranteeing personal freedoms and freedom of speech and thoughts (Art 38/31/27/25).

Even with the custom-made constitution and the emergency laws, still the president and his assigned consecutive governments did not abide by it, or respected it in spirit or words. When the second term of Hafez AlAssad term finished, he did not have a problem in renewing his presidency for life (instead of the two terms as dictated in his constitution) in complete disrespect of the constitution and Syrian people. In that same Constitution current for now (Art 13) state “The state economy is a planned socialist economy”, But Bashar did not find a problem when he was first empowered to state that he will be following a policy to free the economy by opening-up the market ( I think he called it a private Social economy). And did not mind carrying this policy for over 11 years now in which he privatized many aspect of economy and allowed private companies to own a good part of this economy (Art 14 state that public utilities should be public ownership, this is not to state my opinion in the planned economy, but stating the facts).

When late father Hafez Assad expired, the constitution stated president needed to be at age of 40 years or older, the constitution was amended in less than half an hour to allow the new younger son to be president.

This is not to mention many laws which are unconstitutional with no one a to discuss them or objecting. Last year to allow the lifting of the emergency laws a new law was issued allowing the police to detain people indefinitely, and so the problem was solved and emergency law lifted and no one felt the deference.

In conclusion I refuse to debate the articles of the new constitution. I consider it misleading and distraction to argue about the implication of president being allowed two more terms (after expiry of the current one), and president powers to include forming and heading a government at his preference notwithstanding the wishes of the majority in the parliament. Or discuss the total disregard of the separation of powers by not only heading the executive side of the government and approving its policies but actually empowering him to head the army, to head the judicial counsel and appoints its member judges, to allow him legislating powers to issue laws without parliament approval (if not in session or if in session) while he can stop laws issued by parliament. Just to make it even funnier he can dismiss the parliament and executive branch which is the government at will.

So basically short of being god he can do anything with no need to consult anyone for any reason. HE CAN DO WHAT THE HELL HE WANT

Is it Syrian revolution or foreign powers’

Often times when discussing Syria revolution we end up discussing if the revolt is planned, controlled encouraged by foreign powers. This basically referring to the great conspiracy which can target Arabs or Islam, when the regime in Syria is Liberal and last thing you can call him is an Islamist (hence his claim it is an Islamist conspiracy against him, what an irony conspiracy theory can serve all with no limits). I personally have no inside information or connections to anyone in government or opposition, I can only offer a personal analyse using logic and deduction for what it is worth.

Revolution in Syria started with few kids or teenagers writing slogans they heard for months on TV during Egypt and Tunisia protest, calling for the downfall of the regime. In response security forces arrested them for days during which they badly tortured them (hopping to draw a line in the sand for what is unacceptable  in these times of revolutionary winds blowing over Middle East).  To even make things worst, the security forces insulted and grossly humiliated the head of tribes and elders in that rural area (called Daraa) when they asked for the kids release. This led to the all out protests in Daraa and nearby areas. NOW where can the foreign powers interfere in this?? how can they plan for the kids to do that, how can they encourage security forces to react in the brutal way they did?.

Next chapter; eruption of protests all over the Daraa area, instead of trying to contain the situation the regime send the army with the tanks to send a message that we are not playing here this is serious stuff, but the army faced some problems (not sure what) which required even some further enforcement to finally take control of the small border towns. This caused a general protests in many other areas in Syria to support their fellow citizens and demand the canceling of the Emergency laws in effect for over 40 years (which limit the personal freedom and gives great power to security forces to arrest with no warrant and for unlimited times) taking this opportunity to claim something in the sprites of revolution in the area. I can clearly recall that all media outlets were stressing Explicitly that people are NOT asking for the downfalls of the regime or the president, they are only calling for the changes and more freedoms (actually they were expecting president to lead these changes, and reform the security forces). Again as before security forces over reacted and used extreme force which lead to blood to be spilled on the streets in many cities and towns. still I cannot see how could foreign powers plan the army and security forces reactions when every observer (some are regime friends) could not understand the reasons for use of extreme power in reaction to street protests.

In the first few months, no one can claim that foreign powers were conspiring against Syria or regime. Actually now the official line coming from government admits the wrong handling of the situation in the beginning. So to make much longer story short, more killing, and more protests, government declared stopping of emergency laws but security forces keep arresting people with no warrants, more protests, more blood, more promises of reform which no one believed by now, government using army all around Syria using tanks and cannons and still final chapter not writing yet.

In conclusion, foreign powers could not conspire to start this revolution, and could not effect government reaction which fed the anger and spread the revolt all over the country. For fairness i do think that foreign powers are interfering now, but now it is a fair game; everyone is interfering. All border countries have interest in the outcome of this, even the countries that have no interest would have interest now because they would not allow other powers to benefit from this situation (GCC don’t want Iran to benefit by supporting regime, with more power inside Syria).

I blame the regime and no one but the regime for situation in Syria and to allow others to interfere.